We watched the movie ‘1917’ last week.

I found myself considerably weepy throughout, but I’ve been considerably weepy all year.  I don’t know if I’ve always been this way (I don’t think so), but you would not want to watch me watch a movie these days.  Within my own physical space, I’m very ‘active’ with what’s being offered on the screen; it’s probably a little pitiful.

The movie is quite an experience, but age has taught me that recommendations are a fool’s errands.  Or, something like that.  Constructed as one continuous take, as someone who was professionally on the periphery of cinematic craft, I made an effort to not be on the lookout for the sleight of hand involved.

What did trip me up was being marginally distracted by the actor Mark Strong in a small ‘anchor’ of a role.  His brief interaction with the main character, dialog and performance, is an oasis.

In the process of mining this photo, I came across another of Mark Strong, with Stanley Tucci.

Not the best photo of either, I’ve always been crazy about Stanley Tucci, pictured below on the cover of his not-just celebrity cookbook.  Photos clickable.

The widest possible shoulders available on a gentleman, here he is in a Levi’s 501 jeans commercial from the Eighties.  And, in addition to the ‘vivid’ brief on the cover of the cookbook, a ‘saucy’ exchange with Graham Norton follows.

Am I forgiven for yesterday’s post?

 

For my semi-monthly-ish contribution to this remnant of a blog, I had in mind something frivolous, like a photo of myself with no fresh haircut, and no hope of one for the foreseeable future.

Then along came this article in the New York Times today about where the lost Bernie Sanders supporters are trending.  Click the photo for the caption.

Whatever implication/insinuation/accusation this may have about the intelligence of the rest of the human race, I think at this point it’s time to hand off the globe to the whales.

Absolutely serious, I’m afraid.

During the second half of the Seventies, before he and ‘everyone’ else we knew moved to New York City, our friend Greg Whittington would drop by my workplace to say hello.  Sometimes, the boy featured in these photographs by Arthur Tress would be in tow.

While there, this pale youngster would never once make eye contact with me.  Greg told me I frightened him.

Can you imagine anything more ridiculous?

 

Last month, on the way slightly further up the East Coast, we stopped off in Augusta GA, home of that golf event with the green jackets, to see an exhibition at the Morris Museum, of work by our friend and neighbor Richard Olsen.

The final stop on the trip was for an opening at a gallery featuring work by another friend, Noah Saunders.  Noah’s works must be seen in person, as photographs fail them.

While at the Morris, I became fascinated with a painting in its permanent collection by Gladys Nelson Smith (1890-1980) called ‘Afternoon at the Beach, Chesapeake Bay’.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a tableau of this kind use shadow in 3-D fashion this aggressively.

Also works pretty well selling a suit and a handbag.

I have another couple of photographs, with another tale attached, for you.  I predict you’ll like those much more than the present (clickable) ones.

Can there be any point in imagining that I’m wrong?

Unlikely as it may be, if the opportunity to speak to Pete Buttigieg presents itself during the next few months, after identifying myself as gay and a veteran (which would make us buddies, you see…), I would tell him that I would support him if I thought he could defeat Donald Trump in November.

Realizing this would diminish the luster of my pledge of support for him, I would follow by admitting that I would also support Liza Minnelli if I thought she could defeat Donald Trump.

As a disciple of the inane, I don’t feel the least bit conspicuous making a statement like that, in fact, at this point in time, I would follow the lead of my friend Andrew T, who in a text message last week wrote: ‘As I’ve said before, I’d vote for Charlie Manson’s reanimate corpse if it was running against Trump.’

I live in mild dread that Pete B may become the Democratic Party candidate; intelligence and articulateness does not play well in the USA at this point in time.  And he ist ein homosexueller.  On that count alone, I give Liza and Charlie better odds.

Remember ‘Thistle Fawn’ from last post?  Thistle says Dave is a big downer.

Since nothing seems to be lifting me from the doldrums brought on by the abject insanity of these last three years, I have decided to take a radical departure from my life heretofore.

I plan to explore my fairie nature this year.  Not ‘fairy’, already done, rather the Fairie one.

First order of business is to assign myself a woodland sprite name:

I have chosen ‘Thistle Fawn’.

I recently ran all this past a few friends, including the idea of referring to myself in the third person: ‘Thistle Fawn loves the flowers of the meadow’ and ‘Thistle Fawn doesn’t like loud noises’, etc.

Rather than supporting me in this endeavor, they find the root idea unsettling, and the third person aspect even more so.

Stephen has decided to humor Thistle in the short run, but will unhelpfully, I believe, mis-address Thistle as ‘Thimble Thong’.

Thistle Fawn’s inner peace and seraphical calm prevent him from taking offense…

Yes, I watched this big pop-up book of a movie again this year, and allowed my eyes to mist-up (it’s a tradition) during what is surely one of the — if not ‘the’— gooiest tunes/performances ever committed to film, the Tiny Tim solo.

Stephen loves to watch the sequences early in the picture, the ones establishing Ebenezer Scrooge as a carping old misanthrope, while casting those ‘who does this remind us of’ looks at me.

Each and every year I remind him that the redemption Scrooge undergoes is just around the corner for me.

Happy Christmas Day to you!

So… (as everyone begins a statement these days) here at the Holiday Season, and on the Winter Solstice, I offer a short related-to-neither post.

Over the past while, I have been canvassing the odd friend or acquaintance as to his or her awareness, or lack thereof, of the use of the word ‘truck’ other than with reference to a motor vehicle.

In my lifetime here in Georgia (sustained for all but 73 years), I will have heard from gentlemen of a certain disposition: ‘I don’t have no truck with it’, meaning essentially, ‘I do not abide such’.

Surprisingly, no one yet canvassed has experienced this usage.  Where have they been?  Or, more to the point, I suppose, where have I been?

ANYway, along comes a gift (Gotta Love Stephen Fry) from Mark Alexander.

I have always (obviously) been fascinated with ‘the journey of a word’.  This ‘truck’ is another ‘tote’.  (‘Tote’: as a verb, used only in scripts for ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’, as a noun, a couple of thousand dollars at Louis Vuitton.)

Stephen’s (my Stephen…) and my exchanges are burlesque-heavy.  If he asks my opinion, as often as not, I respond, ‘I don’t have no truck with it’.

I do a mean redneck…

It occurred to me — I implore you to not imagine otherwise — that the previous post needed all the help it could get, title-wise, scintillating first subject being heating and air-conditioning.

Since later in the post I included the words ‘polyamorous’ and ‘naturists’, I did consider titling the post ‘Swingers and Nudists’.  Not that I haven’t willfully ‘misled’ before, but that level of failure to deliver?  Bad form.

Now, emoji.  Thank goodness for them, but am I right that they make us lazy?  Surely I should be able to signal that I’m kidding without a semi-colon, a hyphen, and an end-parenthesis.  I do resist them, likely to my disadvantage.

Example, the other month I wrote that I was contemplating reverting to calling my husband my ‘roommate’.  I believe my lack of seriousness was unclear.  He, by the way, prefers ‘bunk buddy’;-)

Since I didn’t use ‘Swingers and Nudists’ last post, I thought about using it here.

Probably should have…

This week, we had to endure the installation of a new heating and air-conditioning system.  The system being jettisoned was thirty years-old, which we understand is about twice as long as current HVAC systems are projected to last.

The ‘endure’ part was many-fronted, or at least ‘several-fronted’.  Aside from having to part with ten thousand dollars, it was my turn to be the ‘man’, which is to say, communicate and generally interact with the installation ‘team’.

Whereas I have never been characterized as a complete sissy, at least to my face, taking on the ‘man’ role is always — how to say — taxing.  To be absolutely fair to myself, just ‘taxing-ish’, okay?

A couple of weeks ago, Stephen and I traveled to the mountains of far north Georgia, to spend a couple of days with an old friend who, with his late husband had escaped there from Atlanta.  When I grew up forty miles from Atlanta in the Fifties and into the Sixties, the city was still quaint by today’s standards and ‘conceivable’.  Now it’s a mess.

Quizzing our friend round and about concerning his wellbeing this past year in widowhood, we were reassured.  Interestingly, while we had already been educated to the fact that there is an extensive gay presence in the region, he told us that his social scene is relatively heterosexual.

While his consorting with ‘those people’ was initially shocking to me, he pointed out that within the fabric of this set were the polyamorous and the naturist.  I can say no more…

The days while we were visiting had been projected to be the ‘peak’ leaf-wise of Autumn glory.  Nope.  While there were gorgeous vistas aplenty, and crisp, chilly weather, no riot-of-color.

Though compensations for no Vermont-postcard leafage were not required, we did meet a very attractive and very courtly blacksmith while visiting a craft school in the region.

Wouldn’t you agree that ‘courtly’ always takes ‘attractive’ to a different level?

Why am I telling you this?

I started blogging in 2009, but in October 2016, I ditched the previous posts in a fit of cyber housecleaning. Some of it was really nice writing, but alas, as my old friend Susan once said: ‘Compulsion is a cruel master’.

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